McCarthy: 'Premature' to reject rescissions of omnibus

McCarthy: 'Premature' to reject rescissions of omnibus
© Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Overnight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he stands by his call to claw back some of the spending in the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill approved by Congress last month despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE's (R-Ky.) dismissal of the idea.

McConnell said it would be ill-advised for Republicans to walk back on the deal they made with Democrats, telling Fox News, "You can’t make an agreement one month and say: 'OK, we really didn’t mean it.' "

But McCarthy — who’s been discussing using the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act to rescind funds from the massive spending package with President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE — said he doesn't see rescissions reneging on the deficit-busting agreement, arguing that it’s "premature" to discount the proposal before they've seen what's in it.

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"Rescissions are not about the [omnibus] — it's about saving money. You could have some unencumbered funds that are still out there from past times." he told The Hill. "If you look under [former President] Clinton, during Clinton's administration they did it 111 times. Reagan proposed 600 times to do this. It's a way to save money."

House conservatives, who were highly critical of the omnibus, have applauded the idea, arguing retroactive cuts would be a step in the right direction in reducing the deficit. 

Some speculate McCarthy's support of a rescission package could factor into his chances of securing conservative votes needed to succeed House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down MORE (R-Wis.). The California Republican will need to win the support of the House Freedom Caucus to lock up the 218 votes needed win the position. 

The administration aims to send its rescission requests to Congress early next month, which would then need to be approved by both chambers in a simple majority vote. 

Critics have expressed concerns that utilizing the maneuver could hinder the ability to negotiate deals across the aisle in the future.

But proponents say it could give Republicans an opportunity to boost their fiscal credentials ahead of a difficult midterm election cycle.